All That Ends Well
My life was a joke, a giant, dark, joke. From the moment I was born till I was thirty seven years old, I was lied to and used to the point that I couldn't tell truth from fiction any longer. If you read that book that was written about me you will remember that at the end of it I stated that "all was well?" Well the author should have waited a little longer before she finished, because that was the last day I could make that claim. Not twenty-four hours later, my life began to unravel and a lifetime of lies was brutally revealed.
It all began on September second when an emergency call came into my office. A first year Hogwarts student had been attacked just a few minutes before by one of the Acromantulas that lived in the Forbidden Forest and the Headmistress had called for our help. I immediately called for my team and we Apparated to Hogwarts, fearing if we didn't hurry that the child would be dead by the time we arrived. Luckily, for the kid, Neville Longbottom had been walking out to the greenhouses for his first class and was able to rescue the terrified little girl, but that was beside the point.
Nineteen years before, the night of Voldemort's attack on Hogwarts, the Acromantulas had been almost completely wiped out by the centaurs. Unfortunately, they had missed a few of the giant spiders, including several freshly hatched females. All these years later and the spider colony was larger than it had ever been before. Before, when Aragog was still alive, the beasts had at least avoided the school grounds. Now that he was dead, the new colony had been growing bolder with each passing year and even he centaurs were starting to worry. Firenze actually admitted that two centaur foals had been attacked, one had even died, by the spiders just the previous month.
Hearing this, I turned to my team and made a decision. "We have to stop this before they kill someone else."
Putting out a call to the rest of the Auror force, we marched into the woods with the intent of wiping out a clear and present danger to the school. I won't bore you with the details, but over two hundred Aurors walked into the woods that day. By the time we walked back out, ten good men would never see their homes again. Even with the help of the centaurs, it was a battle that many of us had nightmares about for years after, especially Ron. That poor bugger actually pissed himself at one point and according to Hermione, never talked about that day again.
It was after the battle that things started to go wrong. As I stood on the very site that I had "died" all those years before, I suddenly felt faint and fell to my knees. I put my right hand down on the ground to steady myself and felt something slip onto my finger. Looking down I saw something I had not thought I would ever see again, something that I had thought better lost, the ring with the resurrection Stone attached to it was on my finger. I carefully reached for it and tried to pull it from my finger without turning it, but the blasted thing refused to come off my finger. I must have stood there for an hour trying every spell I knew to get the damned thing off my finger, but nothing I did seemed to work.
"Well this sucks," was all I could think to say as I finally gave up and made my way out of the forest.
What I saw when I exited the Forbidden Forest was the sight of several Aurors standing around the wreckage that had once been Albus Dumbledore's mausoleum. Okay, now I pride myself on following my instincts, but even though they were screaming for me to stay far away from that tomb, I walked right on over to it. What I saw was disturbing, after all who wants to see the decaying body of their mentor? It didn't take long to repair the crypt and after casting several spells to make the stone invulnerable and unable to open again, we walked away. That's when I found the Elder wand in my robes.
"Bloody hell," I swore under my breath, realizing that I could not return it to Dumbledore's tomb.
Now if there is anything I hate, it's being manipulated and even I could tell something was going on. Not only had I found the stone, but now the wand was back in my possession. The fact that my invisibility cloak was tucked away inside my robe meant that I was currently walking around with all three of the Deathly Hallows. I tried not to act worried, but I knew something was about to go wrong. If I had known just how wrong it was going to go, I probably would have run away and never returned. Sadly, being me, I thought I could handle anything that came my way. I was wrong.
I was so distracted by the events of the day that I called off the rest of the day in the office and headed home. I walked into my home, the home I had shared with Ginny since the day we were married and heard something that made my blood run cold. I heard my wife screaming from upstairs, so I ran as fast as I could up the stairs, wand drawn and ready to kill whatever was harming her. I reached the door to our bedroom, Ginny had stopped screaming, but I heard voices whispering inside. Kicking the door open, I leapt into the room and prepared for the worst, and the worst is what I saw. There in our bed, bare as the day they were born and in a position Ginny had always said was undignified, was some bloke I had never met before, shagging my wife rotten. They were so focused on what they were doing that they didn't even realize what was going on at first. Hell, I'm pretty sure my wife actually completed her obvious goal because she screamed out again in a way I never remembered hearing her use before. I just stood there for a moment before I petrified both of them and walked over to where I knew my wife could see me.
"Short of an Imperious curse, which I can test for, dear wife," I nearly screamed, "I think it's fairly obvious that this marriage is over. This memory given under Veritaserum will ensure that you leave this marriage with nothing, not a knut or even the ability to ever see our children again. I dearly hope it was worth it?"
What I did next was childish, but at the time it was rather satisfying. I turned the wedding ring she wore into a portkey, cast a sticking charm to make sure Ginny's "friend" did not slip away during transport, then I sent them to the Burrow. Oh, did I forget I cast a minor compulsion on Ginny to tell the truth when anyone asked her what had happened? I figured Mrs. Weasley would just love to find out what her daughter was up to. Little did I know that she wouldn't actually be all that surprised.
Yep, my darling wife's mother knew all about her daughter's indiscretions. In fact, she knew about things that I would never have even dreamed of, let alone believed Ginny capable of. It all came to light when I demanded that Ginny and I both testify under the effects of truth serum. Ginny didn't like that idea at all, but as I was willing to do it, she could do no less unless she wanted everyone to know she had cheated on the "Boy-Who-Lived." Trust me, she hated it as the questions kept coming and she started to look more and more like a money grubbing slag.
When asked if she had ever cheated on me before, Ginny admitted that she had been cheating on me since about ten hours after our first kiss back at Hogwarts. In fact, when asked who she had been unfaithful with, the sheer volume of names had stunned everyone in the courtroom. After two straight hours of listing names, never once repeating herself, the Ministry official that was hearing the case finally called a recess so we could all try to absorb exactly how much of a slut my wife really was.
Now, something strange about the court case was that none of the other Weasleys showed up, not even Hermione had come. On the one hand I understood that they couldn't face the fact that Ginny had done the things they had done, but on the other hand it hurt that my adopted family had not shown up to support me. So, walking out of the courtroom and seeing Bill Weasley and Fleur standing there waiting for me was both a good and bad thing. Part of me feared that they would turn against me, supporting Ginny, but with the sad smile that Bill gave me and the hug that Fleur gave me, I knew things were going to be okay.
"I'm so sorry, Harry," Bill said, taking my hand and shaking it. "I never would have thought Ginny would do something like this to you, but I guess it's hard to deny the truth."
"Eet is so shameful," agreed Fleur. "To zink she would 'urt you like zis, I do not know what to zink."
"You and me both," I said, shaking my head.
We spent the rest of the recess talking together, the both of them offering me nothing but kind words and support. We checked on my children, they were all sitting in a side office waiting to see what the outcome would be. I hadn't wanted to bring them, but they insisted and considering how upset they seemed to be, I caved and brought them with. Once, right before we went back inside, Ginny walked over with a smile on her face as she looked at Bill, but when she saw the glare he gave her, she looked like someone had slapped her. I watched her run back to the courtroom, but I also noticed that Mrs. Weasley had arrived. My mother figure, the woman that I had thought would always support me, gave me a look that spoke volumes about just how much she loathed me at that moment in time. I wish I had been paying more attention because I would have seen her pulling out a small vial from her dress. Actually, while everyone was busy watching Ginny's hysterics, no one noticed her mother pour the contents of that little vial into the pitcher of water at the table I was sitting at.
Okay, little fact about wizarding marriages that most people don't realize. A magical marriage is not forever, especially if it can be proved that someone in the marriage broke the vows that bind the couple together. If that's the case, the Wizengamot can nullify the marriage, but only after the offending party admits to everything they have done. That's the bit that most people balk at, admitting they might have done something wrong, so Veritaserum is rarely ever asked for because then both parties have to take it and that might lead to some rather dark secrets coming out. I was lucky because the first question I got asked during the trial was whether I had ever knowingly or willingly broken my vows. Of course, my answer was no, but Ginny didn't get that lucky. That meant as soon as the judge called the court back in session, we were both dosed with Veritaserum again.
Second little fact that you should know. The very best poisons are the ones that no one ever knows you used. The best example of this are two part poisons. These are poisons that need a second substance to trigger them. So, when I sat down at the table and poured myself a glass of water, I had no idea that the little sip I took would cause the Veritaserum I was dosed with to turn into the next best thing to Basilisk venom. The moment it hit my tongue, I knew something was wrong. A moment later I was on the floor, my vision going black, and the sound of screams ringing in my ears. The next thing I knew, I was standing in King's Cross Station again only this time it wasn't Albus Dumbledore waiting for me.
"Yo!" said a tall, unusually pale man, with an almost skeletal face. "Good to finally meet you, Harry."
"Do I know you?" I asked, standing up from the floor and looking around at the hazy white train station. "I mean, I recognize this place, but I've no idea who you might be. And why am I here at all."
"Yeah, I get that a lot," stated the man with a smile that seemed just a little too big for his face. "Still, everyone meets me eventually. The name is Joe, though most people call me Death."
"Seriously?" I asked. "You're name is Joe?"
"Well, it was originally Joziah, but times change and I thought Joe sounded better," answered the man with a grin. "But listen, we don't have much time before you have to go back and we've got a lot to talk about. That poison just kind of made you receptive for this conversation, but it won't last long?"
"I'm going back? Again?" was the only thing I could think of to say, though I stored away the knowledge that I had been poisoned for later.
The man nodded, then reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a small hourglass. "See, you're not supposed to die, ever. Those Phoenix tears that Fawkes cried into your wound that day in the Chamber, combined with the Basilisk venom, created the first and only true Elixir of Life. Unlike the Stone, this one only needed to be taken once. Sure, you may take a short nap for a second or two, but then you'll be as good as new."
I stood there, staring at the incarnation of Death with my jaw hanging down around my knees as he continued. "Add to that the fact you've got all three of my Hallows and you are pretty much going to be around for a very long time. In fact, I have it on good authority that even after your planet dies, you and your wife will be running about the Universe having fun."
"Ummm… In case you are unaware," I said after taking in what he said, my life is so weird that I didn't even argue about being immortal, "I'm in the middle of a divorce. I don't think I want Ginny doing anything with me, near me, or even in the same time zone as me."
"No, not that bint," interrupted Death. "I meant your real wife. She's the one you'll share your blood with, thus making her immortal. Boy, are you two going to have a lot of kids."
"I already have kids," I argued, but the look Death gave me did not bode well.
"Yeah… About that… you really need to get back now, Harry," stated Death with a sad smile. "It's going to be a rough one for you, but just remember your real wife will be there to support you."
With that, the world went white and then black. A second later I opened my eyes to the sight of a beautiful young woman leaning over me. It took me a second to recognize her, but then I recognized her, Gabrielle Delacour. The little spitfire had been around for years, visiting her sister often and spending time over at my house watching the kids. After a while, I just started thinking of her as one of the family, though Ginny never really seemed to warm up to her. In fact, looking back on it, neither Ginny nor the kids really ever liked her, though in retrospect I can see why.
"Welcome back, 'arry," Gabrielle said with a wide grin and tears in her eyes. "I thought I lost you there for a moment."
"Nah," I disagreed. "Takes more than a bit of poison to kill me."
"Poison!" shouted several of my fellow Aurors.
What followed was the strangest, most convoluted scheme, I had ever heard of. If it wasn't for the fact that it was my life and I was living it, I would have said the person telling the story was barking mad. Funny thing is, I would have been wrong. As soon as the words poison was out of my mouth, Mrs. Weasley ran for the courtroom doors. A second later she was stunned and on the ground, a vial of some sort tightly gripped in her hands. That of course caused Ginny to go for her wand and try to hex me, which I deflected towards the ceiling, hitting a lamp. The lamp broke loose and fell onto a cart that held the Veritaserum, causing a vial of it to fly into the air and land in the pitcher of water on my table. When the two liquids combined, the contents of the pitcher immediately started to smoke bubble, alerting several people as to the cause of my "death."
Wait because it gets better. After Ginny was restrained, a court clerk came running into the room claiming that my children had suddenly disappeared and three other children had taken their place. I actually watched as Ginny turned so pale that she looked like a candy cane. That's when she started screaming about how it "wasn't fair," and how "he's supposed to be dead." My favorite was, "you promised me you would kill him, mummy!" To say that the courtroom went silent would be an understatement.
Fifteen minutes later after a Healer gave me a clean bill of health, the Aurors had Ginny and Mrs. Weasley shackled and dosed with Veritaserum. The three kids that had replaced my children were sitting close-by shouting at Ginny, calling her mum the entire time, and asking why I was still alive, even the young girl in the group was asking this. It didn't take long for the truth to come out.
As it turned out, Mrs. Weasley had raised Ginny with one goal in mind, marrying me and stealing my money. She actually went so far as to slip long-term love potions into my food whenever I was at the Burrow. Ginny for her part had agreed to the plan at the ripe old age of ten, during my first year at Hogwarts, and the two had been working together ever since. Their plan was a simple one, freely admitted under the effects of the Veritaserum. The two of them had brewed up several potions that would prevent me from being intimate with a woman, then slipped me the love potions that were keyed to Ginny. After we were married, Ginny continued to slip me the potions to keep my libido neutralized, an extremely strong Confundus spell was all it took to convince me that we had been intimate when in reality we had never done more than kiss and hug. I couldn't help but laugh at the situation when I realized I was still a virgin, even after all these years as a married man.
After a few years, Ginny had then gone out and gotten knocked up by three different men. As soon as she knew she was pregnant, Ginny and her mother performed an extremely dark and illegal bit of blood magic that made her children look as if they were mine. The children would look like me until the moment I died, then would return to their true appearance. Mrs. Weasley's attempt at killing me had stopped my heart just long enough for the ritual to fail, thus causing my "children" to regain their true appearance. I have to say, it would have been kinder if they had been killed, because they are some very ugly kids.
The oldest boy, James, looked remarkably like a troll with his jaw jutting out almost further than his nose and beady little black eyes. Albus looked even worse considering he had suddenly shrunk almost a foot and looked rather like a goblin, which later proved to be true as his real father was a goblin. Ginny it seemed had not been picky about who she slept with, especially if the goblin in question could sneak several hundred thousand Galleons out of my vault and into her mother's. Still, it was little Lily that broke my heart and nearly caused me to kill Ginny where she stood. Lily, my beloved "daughter," would later turn out to be the daughter of a drunken one night stand with Dean Thomas, Ginny's one time boyfriend. I heard after the trial that he was granted custody of the little monster, she actually spit in my face when she no longer had to act as if she liked me.
Another secret came out with the revelation that I was not the father of Ginny's children, she had paid the little bastards to act as if they loved me. It seems that as soon as they were old enough to understand, about the time they turned six, Ginny had told them the truth and started giving them money to pretend they liked me. Whatever feelings they may have had for me before they learned the truth, obviously money was more important to them because they never even dreamed of telling me the truth. I almost cried when I finally understood the true horror of Ginny's actions, that she had turned three innocent children into the worst kind of monsters. Later, years later, the boys would be killed during an attempt to rob Gringotts, while Lily would end up in Azkaban for line theft and murder. A fellow prisoner would later kill her when she found out Lily's victim was a child.
I sat there, listening as the sewage that was Ginny's secrets, spewed from her mouth. Each secret, each plot, made me want to vomit. It was only the fact that Gabrielle was sitting next to me and holding my hand that seemed to keep me from going insane. When the beautiful French witch had sat down next to me, I couldn't tell you, but her presence calmed me when nothing else would. I clung to her hand for over five hours as Ginny and then her mother admitted the truth for all the court to hear. I listened to how they had been stealing money from me since the day Albus Dumbledore gave Molly the key to my trust vault. Then I listened as Ginny admitted to seeking out Hermione to help her drive other girls away from me while I was at Hogwarts. Evidently Hermione and Ron had been more than willing to help Ginny out, for a share of the money. That was the straw that broke the camel's back.
I stood up and faced the Wizengamot members, saying very calmly, "I claim Line Theft against this woman and her mother."
"That is well within your right, Mr. Potter," stated the judge. "This court, based on the testimony we have already heard, grant your request. All assets belonging to, or in the name of, these two women shall be seized, liquidated, and granted to you as repayment for their actions. Your marriage to this young woman is now null and void. All records of your marriage shall be destroyed and her name will once again be Weasley."
"Your honor," Bill suddenly called from the back of the room. "As the oldest son of the Weasley Clan, I have the right as the clan heir to cast this… woman… from my family. I would like to cast both women out of my family, but I cannot. Regardless, I claim my right to Ginny Molly Weasley from the Weasley clan, along with any children she may have."
"NO!" screamed Ginny as she tried to fight the Veritaserum, and failed. "You can't do this to me, I did everything mummy and Dumbledore told me to do. Harry's money should be mine! He was supposed to die, not kill Lord Voldemort! Dumbledore promised us that there was no way Harry could ever win, he had seen to that!"
I think you can imagine the shit storm that started in the courtroom. When it was all over and done with, Ginny No-Name and her mother were sentenced to life in Azkaban. Ginny's children were taken to St. Mungo's to stay until a home could be found for them, as I was not going to let them stay anywhere near me. Ron and Hermione were both summoned to the courtroom and eventually sentenced to one hundred years a piece for their help in the matter. It saddened me to see Hermione dragged from the room crying, but the fact she was crying because all her books were to be sold to repay me for her crimes also put a vindictive grin on my face. As for Ron, he actually looked like he regretted his actions and hung himself in his cell that very night. Hermione on the other hand would live to see her release date and die that night in a homeless shelter because neither of her children wanted anything to do with her.
But let's get back to Ginny and her mother. Ten years after they were sealed inside their cells, the punishment for Line Theft, Mrs. Weasley finally figured out what she had done was wrong. I think it might have something to do with the death of James and Albus, but I can't say for sure. Whatever the reason, she requested a message be given to me saying she was sorry and then she laid down on her bed and died. No struggle, no grisly suicide, just an old broken woman finally understanding that what she did was wrong and willing herself to die. I didn't actually find out she had died until about twelve years later and it was another twenty before I heard her last message, but it was the thought that counts.
Ginny was another story entirely. That vile little bint managed to escape from her cell on her fortieth birthday. Seems she had secretly been working on the Animagus transformation for years and finally managed to pull it off. Thankfully they had begun planting tracking charms on inmates after Sirius escaped, so seventy-two hours after she escaped Ginny's remains were located about two hundred meters off shore and three hundred meters straight down. Whatever Ginny transformed into either couldn't swim very well or made a tasty snack for some of the nastier creatures in the area. In either case, no one really missed her all that much.
As for me, well after that day in court my life started to get better. Maybe it was the fact that Gabrielle suddenly refused to let me wallow in my self pity, or it could have been the fact that she actually moved in without asking and started wandering around the house in some rather fetching short skirts. Who knows, but one year after she moved in I explained about the vision I had received. Six months after that we were married and that night I shared my blood with her. The honeymoon lasted for ten years and only ended with the birth of our first child, Michael Orion Potter.
Many years have passed since I married my wife. Thanks to magic we can hide the fact that we don't age and ever few years we "die" and start over someplace else. Currently we are living in the United States, but Gabrielle wants to return to France for our two hundredth wedding anniversary. Considering what she's wearing at the moment, or not wearing as the case may be, I can't say no to her. So, we'll move to one of our properties in France sometime this year, but until then, things couldn't be better.